HC Deb 02 May 1986 vol 96 cc525-6W
Mr. Sheerman

asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he will provide the following information relating to trunk road: (a) the total cost of accidents in 1985, (b) the total sum allocated to his regional offices specifically for small cost-effective engineering schemes for accident reduction in 1985, (c) the proportion of his Department's budget and expenditure on trunk roads allocated to such schemes in 1985, (d) the amount specifically allocated to schemes of this type during European Road Safety Year 1986, and this total as a proportion of his Department's trunk road budget for the current year, and (e) an estimate of the savings in accidents likely to result from this expenditure on small schemes during 1986.

Mr. Peter Bottomley

Final accident figures for 1985 are not yet available. The total estimated cost of injury accidents on trunk roads (excluding motorways) in England in 1984 was £120 million.

We do not allocate sums specifically for accident reduction schemes. In 1985–86, the Department spent £31 million on small safety and improvement schemes. Most are designed specifically to enhance road safety. In 1986–87, we plan tp spend £35 million on such schemes. Major national schemes also enhance road safety by removing traffic from unsuitable roads and from small towns and villages.

It is not possible to estimate accurately the savings in accidents resulting from road schemes. National road schemes generally achieve an economic return of £1.50 for each £1 spent resulting from accident savings and other benefits such as reduced journey times. Within this, accident savings are estimated to account for about 20p for each £1 spent. In 1985–86, expenditure on national scheme works was £429 million and in 1986–87 we plan to spend £431 million.

Mr. Greg Knight

asked the Secretary of State for Transport how soon after the completion of a trunk road contract any outstanding work is required to be completed; and what steps are taken if there is delay in completion of that work.

Mr. Peter Bottomley

The maintenance period normally lasts for 52 weeks from completion of the main works. Under the terms of the contract, the contractor is required to complete all outstanding maintenance work by the end of the maintenance period or as soon as practicable afterwards if the Department agrees to defer—for example, on the grounds of safety or reducing disruption to traffic. If the contractor fails to complete the maintenance work as required, the Department may make other arrangements to carry out the work and recover the cost from the contractor.

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